Balcony flowers overwinter - well prepared for the cold season
Those who do not have a garden will bring home nature with balcony flowers. However, many plants need special preparation for wintering.
Preparing balcony flowers for the winter
Balcony flowers, which will bloom again next year, need the right location and a certain amount of preparation to spend the winter. To start the rest phase, the balcony owner must stop fertilizing and less watering from September. Otherwise, it can happen that the roots are too damp and lazy over the winter.
When the first frosty nights are announced, the gathering of withered flowers and leaves is a good preparation. This is also a good time to examine the plants for pest infestation and cut back. How much the pruning has to be done depends on the particular plant. However, the balcony gardener can do nothing wrong with a pruning by a third or half. Then the non-hardy flowers move to winter quarters.
Which plants come in for the winter
Many annual balcony flowers, like most petunias, only last one summer. Then they wither, die off and land on the compost. But with geraniums and fuchsias that refine over the years, winter storage is worthwhile. Ideally, they will hibernate in as cool a room as possible at ten to fifteen degrees. This may be a window sill in the storeroom, the garage, a staircase or basement window.
Although the plants lose their foliage in the dark, they repopulate in the spring. Attention, do not put the plants too warm, otherwise lice and mites quickly spread out. Especially in hibernation balcony plants are susceptible to pests and fungal infections, which is why a repeated check is advisable.
In addition, the plant friend must pour sparingly and ventilate now and then. Otherwise, there is a risk that the root bales will rot away, as the flowers stop growing in the wintertime.
Even southerners, such as pines, ornamental lilies, olive trees or citrus fruits, come into the house. However, evergreen potted plants such as oleander or some citrus species should not be too bright, but not too dark. A conservatory, a greenhouse or a bedroom that is not too warm would be ideal.
For reasons of space, pruning may make sense, but it is not recommended, as exotics actively drive out all year round.
These plants remain outside
privet or clematis stay on the balcony as they are hardy. Nevertheless, it is important to pack the containers in a thick jute or non-woven coat. Otherwise the root bales, which normally protect the soil, are exposed to frost.
If potted plants are additionally placed on polystyrene plates, the air between the soil and the drain hole can circulate better. Thus, a lump of ice in the openings can thaw better and drain the water unhindered.
Stem roses and tub bamboos need shade and a sheltered place for the winter. Therefore it is advisable to wrap them completely with air permeable and light fleece or reed mats to avoid fungal infestation.
Especially with roses it is necessary to cover the earth with fir branches or foliage, so that they do not get frost damage. Perennial herbs in a pot survive the winter in a foliage-filled cardboard box.
If you have enough space, you can put your balcony flowers on a bright window from February at room temperature. If the first leaves sprout, the flowers are happy to fertilize and pour normally. Only when the nights are frost-free, they come back into the open, but not in the blazing sun. Otherwise, they will quickly get burnt leaves. Because the plants take about ten days to get used to the new (old) environment.